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Thirty Years Ago Fragments of the conversation of P. Ferrari, the Last Dairyman.... "I was born in that house right there, went to school with all these people, dairy farmers, truck farmers -- lots of Oriental truck farmers. Oh, they're all gone now. Bulldozed out by the freeway in '49 and then the stadium. Yeah, my father bought this land in 1896 from some Greek. My mother used to take the milk into town in a horse and buggy. Now you can't even sell milk unless you belong to the Pool." -- "A FAREWELL TO FARMS," Jacquelynne Garner, February 5, 1976

Twenty-Five Years Ago An automobile moving at 55 miles per hour requires 21 minutes to travel up Interstate 5 from downtown San Diego to the Carmel Valley Road exit. Two gas stations and a Sambo's restaurant. Looking eastward from one of the gas stations you can see the round hump of Black Mountain a few miles distant. On these brown hills a new community will rise. It will provide 14,000 homes for some 40,000 people, and it will be called North City West. The concept has been approved by the San Diego City Council and tentative maps have been drawn up for the first subdivision. -- "APPEARING SOON: 40,000 PEOPLE," Gordon Smith, February 12, 1981

Twenty Years Ago The old guy over on court one was causing a scene again, threatening to smash his $200 tennis racket. He had hearing aids in both ears, glasses thick as headlights, legs that looked sturdy, and hair tinted a garish red that was growing out gray around the ears. Bobby Riggs wanted a handicap in the upcoming doubles match.... "I can't remember when I been in such bad shape," he whined. "I got tendonitis in my wrist -- I hadda have two shots this morning for the pain! -- "GREAT TOP SPIN NEVER STOPS," Steve Sorensen, February 13, 1986

Fifteen Years Ago Attempting at once to squeeze between liquor-swilling limelighters yet not encourage conversation was...perennial fundraiser/formalwear poster boy ROLF BENIRSCHKE...while fat-farm heir ALEX SZEKELY, on the otra mano, proffered FREE HUGS to all comers -- this lucky miss included! SULLEN, DIVORCED, MIDDLE-AGED DEVELOPER-types with I'm-such-a-sexual-dynamo-that-I-just-jumped-outta-the-sack-and-haven't-had-time-to-brush-my-hair-yet girlfriends previewed the bistro's bouffe offered on cost-conscious and environmentally dangerous STYROFOAM PLATES! Guests had DEEP-FAT-FRIED shrimp and vegetables, glistening with delectable GREASE. -- " LIZ LANG'S ON THE TOWN," Liz Lang, February 14, 1991

Ten Years Ago I wanted a boy toy; it seems I've found a life partner. Pardon me while I gag! We even "met cute." Very embarrassing. At the time I was playing a MUD, one of those multi-user-dungeoning deals where you modem in, kill monsters, collect gold, and interact with other computer weenies doing the same thing. He was a Grand Master Sorcerer (the highest level); I was a Grand Master Sorceress. We player-tested a new, way-tough area, and I was slaughtered by a Demonic Priest right before the end of the Quest. He avenged my death. I like to think of myself as a tough old bitch, but, y'know, stuff like that gets to me, the same way that flicks like Terminator 2 and RoboCop (the first one) choke me up against my will. -- "THIS GUY KNOWS ME LIKE NO ONE EVER HAS," Rose Dawn Scott, February 8, 1996

Five Years Ago I was vulnerable because I was not dressed in black. I didn't know what to wear to a Peter Murphy concert, so I dressed like I normally do, in blue corduroys, a tan suede coat, and brown shoes. Just a guy, though a little self-conscious that night. This was Peter Murphy after all, the former frontman of the genre-bending band Bauhaus, the group that in the early '80s almost single-handedly inspired the subculture we call goth, for lack of a better name. -- "LEAVE ME ALONE," Justin Wolff, February 8, 2001

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